Hospital staff in Northampton await decision on cancelled salary rise

The Billing Road entrance at St Andrew's
The Billing Road entrance at St Andrew's

Staff at a Northampton hospital are awaiting a decision on whether their postponed pay rises will be reinstated.

Employees of St Andrew's Hospital were angered last year when salary boosts promised on the basis of good performance and care for mental health patuents were denied on the basis that the charity had made less money than the previous 12 months.

Now a remuneration committee at St Andrew's - which last week had to defend itself from allegations in a Channel 4 documentary - is to meet on March 31 to decide whether the millions it gets from the NHS will filter down in the shape of permanent wage increases.

A member of staff said: "Last year was a massive kick in the teeth. We work under incredible pressure and were led to believe the extra effort would pay off.

"It wasn't so much the not getting the actual money, it was the expectation they created that stung so much."

Another said: "The amounts the hospital gets in and the numbers discussed in the accounts are pretty eye-watering. Why that wasn't passed on to people at the coal face is a complete mystery."

Hospital bosses approved a one-off £250 bonus and a cost of living wage rise.

However, staff were led to believe they would get performance based increases of up to £1,200 each.

Martin Kersey, director of HR said; “St Andrew’s is committed to paying our staff fairly for the work that they do and for recognising exceptional performance. We have been reviewing our reward approach following a staff survey and have already acted on a number of people’s comments to enhance the levels of pay for the lowest paid, increase overtime pay and improve the competitiveness of our overall reward package.

"Last year, in addition to the bonus payment, we awarded staff a two per cent increase, up from one per cent the previous year, and managers a one per cent increase. In addition to this we also extended the National Living Wage to all employees under 25 even though this was not a legal requirement.

"We are also committed to looking after our staff and providing them with the development opportunities they need to develop their careers and provide the best possible care for our patients.

"Last year, this involved significantly increasing sick pay to support staff when they need it most and investing over £2.3 million in learning and development opportunities. This included the introduction of our new Aspire Nurse Bursary Programme to help our staff to train and qualify as a mental health nurse.

"Plans for this years’ salary and bonus will be reviewed at the Remuneration committee at the end of the March. Updates have been shared with staff internally and we will ensure that we communicate with them as soon as plans are finalised."